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EU asks Kenya to do more coffee research

By Standard Reporter | December 18th 2015

NAIROBI: The European Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan wants the country to improve the competitiveness of export products through disease control and research.

By so doing, the country would promote market access to the EU markets, and productivity of agricultural commodities.

EU is the primary market for Kenyan coffee beans, which grew by 17 per cent in 2014 to earn the country Sh.2.6 billion. This earned farmers Sh.1.5 billion at an average price of Sh22,300 per 50kg-bag.

In 2013, the Coffee Research Institute received EU funding through the Kenya Rural Development Programme to promote capacity-building in coffee growing counties. Past EU funding has been used to develop two new coffee varieties, Ruiru 11 and Batian.

Speaking Thursday when he toured the Coffee Research Institute in Kiambu, Mr Hogan said: "The new coffee varieties have led to increased coffee production, which has led to increased national coffee export revenues for Kenya."

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